Malapropism finds its origins inside the French word mal a propos, which means “inappropriate.” It is the use of an incorrect phrase in region of a similar-sounding phrase, which leads to a nonsensical and humorous expression.
The word malapropism comes from “Mrs. Malaprop,” a man or woman in Sheridan’s comedy The Rivals, who has a habit of replacing phrases with wrong and absurd utterances, producing a funny effect. A miss-speech is considered malapropism when it sounds much like the phrase it replaces, but has an entirely exclusive meaning. For instance, changing acute with obtuse isn't always a malapropism due to the fact the phrases have contrasting meanings, however do not sound comparable.
Using obtuse for abstruse, on the other hand, is a malapropism, as there's a difference in meanings, and each words sound similar. These traits makes malapropism distinct from other mistakes in speech, along with eggcorns and spoonerisms.
Common Malapropism Examples
Malapropism is a commonplace phenomenon in our day by day life. We locate a few hilarious Malapropism examples being quoted in the media.
The mag New Scientist reviews one in every of its employees calling his colleague “a suppository (i.E. Repository) of knowledge.” The mag further reviews the employee apologized for his “Miss Marple-ism (i.E. Malapropism).”
Richard J. Daley, the previous mayor of Chicago, is said to have called a “tandem bicycle” a “tantrum bicycle,” and to also have incorrectly used the word “Alcoholics Unanimous,” instead than “Alcoholics Anonymous.”
Bertie Ahern, the former Irish Taoiseach, is stated to have given a warning to his us of a against “upsetting the apple tart (i.E., apple cart) of his u . S . A .’s economic success”.
More Common Malapropism Examples
Cheer up. I predicate (predict) a very last victory.
His potential for hard liquor is incredulous (incredible).
This does now not portend (pretend) to be a exceptional work of art.
Fortuitously (fortunately) for her, she gained the sweepstakes.
Examples of Malapropism in Literature
In literature, malapropism is employed to create humorous effect.
Example #1: The Rivals (By Richard Brinsley Sheridan)
In his novel, The Rivals, Richard Sheridan introduces a man or woman, Mrs. Malaprop, who habitually uses phrases that mean pretty the alternative to the phrases she intends to use, but which have comparable sounds to the words she replaces. It will become a brilliant source of humorous effect inside the play. For instance, in Act III, Scene three, she tells Captain Absolute:
“Sure, if I reprehend whatever on this world it's far using my oracular tongue, and a pleasant derangement of epitaphs!”
In the above passage, she comically replaces recognize with reprehend, vernacular with oracular, arrangement with derangement, and epithets with epitaph.
Some other funny examples of malapropism in the same play include “… illiterate (obliterate) him quite from your memory,” and “… she’s as headstrong as an allegory (alligator).”
Example #2: Much Ado About Nothing (By William Shakespeare)
William Shakespeare makes use of malapropism in his plays as well. Look at the subsequent example of malapropism uttered via Constable Dogberry in Act III, Scene five of Much Ado About Nothing:
“Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two auspicious persons.”
Notice using comprehended for apprehended, and auspicious for suspicious.
Similarly, an example of malapropism may be located in Act I, Scene three of Twelfth Night. Sir Toby Belch says:
“By this hand, they may be scoundrels and subtractors
that say so of him. Who are they?”
The malapropism here is “subtractors,” which must have been “detractors.” Yet another instance comes from the same individual in Act I, Scene 5 of the identical play:
OLIVIA: “Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early via this
SIR TOBY BELCH: “Lechery! I defy lechery.”
Here, using lechery” instead of lethargy is a malapropism.
Example #3: Huckleberry Finn (By Mark Twain)
In Chapter 33 of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Aunt Sally can be spotted using a malapropism. She says:
“I was maximum putrified with astonishment,”
Here, the usage of the phrase putrified is a malapropism, as it appears she was considering petrified.
Function of Malapropism
Although it is taken into consideration an blunders in speech, malapropism is a terrific source of humor in both ordinary life and literature. In every day existence, malapropisms are regularly unintentional, however writers introduce malapropism in their literary works intentionally to produce comic effect. It ensures the attention of the readers, because it inserts an extra detail of hobby in a literary piece. This is the purpose why the characters using hilarious malapropisms are frequently well-known.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw